Where to drink in New Zealand

Enjoying Epicurean in Brew on Quay
I was lucky enough to spend a few evenings in pubs whilst away in New Zealand, they're all well worth visiting. In general New  Zealand is well served for beer outlets, the majority of restaurants have a halfway-decent selection of local brews and more importantly in a range of styles. The following were some places I particularly enjoyed. See my Top 10 for suggestions of what to drink.

Eoghan excited to meet me*
*NB may not be true

Brew on Quay, Auckland. I didn't get a chance to eat here, but with friendly ex-pat barstaff on hand (Eoghan from Ireland) and a decent selection of bottles its well worth a visit. Easy to find too as its just along the road from the ferry terminal. Get browsing that beer bible and pick something from the fridges!

Croucher delights
Brew, Rotorua is fantastic, dealing with two brewed products, mainly coffee and beer. Full range of Croucher beers plus decent guests on tap. I had a chance to talk to brewer Nige about their plans for world domination expansion which can only be a good thing. Skip the guests and drink the fantastic local beers.

Good George's FVs
In a refitted church!
Good George, Hamilton is a brand new brew pub outfit with a brew team of good pedigree including the redoubtable Kelly Ryan (formerly of Thornbridge and Epic). The first iterations of beers are designed to be mass appeal to wean the locals onto more interesting fare, though I thought that their IPA and dry-coffee'd amber ale show the direction they'll be heading. You can truly worship at the altar of craft beer here as the brewpub is in a former church!
Secret Imperial Stout
A peek in their storage area found that they've already delved into barrel aging and they also make dry-hopped cider. If the drinks aren't reason enough to head there they also have a decent food menu and its walkable from town or ten minutes by taxi.

The Malthouse, Wellington is a stalwart of the beer scene. I only had a chance for a quick half here but could have lingered all afternoon. Unparalleled range of beers on tap and in the fridge. Great Christmas decorations too!

Dodson Street Bistro Blenheim is the brewery tap for Renaissance and now sporting a German Menu. Schnitzel and Pale ale is the way forward plus the home-made bread and dips make excellent beer snacks. Pop into the brewery next door for off sales.
Great range of Renaissance beers

Pomeroys, Christchurch has recently got its own microbrewery which is being contracted out to all and sundry who require it. Their own beers are available in the bar, alongside other taps (both keg and cask) including dedicated 8-wired and yeastie boys lines. I did my best to try them all but there's a lot to get through. Caramelised onion gravy and pork sausages were also fantastic.

Casssels, CBD Bar Christchurch is a new venture from the guys who have a brewery out in the 'burbs. Its fantastic to see them recolonising the city centre after the devastation of the earthquakes a few years ago. Wood-fired pizzas, cocktails and the full Cassels range should be enough to keep people occupied for a few hours.

Cassels CBD selection
Regional Wines in Wellington is by far the best off-licence that I found. It was difficult to limit myself to what I could sensibly carry as there were plenty of other tasty beers available including loads of "fill-your-own" taps. And if beer isn't your thing then the selection of wines and spirits is even more vast.


  1. Great list - makes me want even more to get to NZ one day!

    One minor point: one worships at altars, not alters. (-:

    1. Good spot! There's plenty of other places in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch I didn't get to..see "the ones that got away" post next week!